Industry News Yamaha

YAMAHA WOLVERINE X2 – First Ride Impression

Yamaha Wolverine X2

Written by Thad Josey

Photography by Adam Campbell Photography

It’s been a few years since I’ve journeyed to an off-road press launch or even driven one of the latest plethora of innovative UTV’s that have exploded onto the market. I’ve been a passionate advocate for UTV’s since Yamaha introduced the Rhino in the fall of 2003 and to my surprise, these four-wheeled terra firma dominators have excelled light years beyond what I remembered them to be in only a few years time. Wow, the UTV’s of late have drastically improved in quality, comfort, technology and performance and I was craving for the opportunity to put whatever Yamaha had up their sleeve through the ringer. With that in mind, meet Yamaha’s newest member of the pack, the Wolverine X2 UTV!

Yamaha Wolverine X2

Yamaha Wolverine X2

Yamaha’s objective was to design and offer a compact and nimble multi-purpose adventure seeking side-by-side that not only would dominate in tight technical trails, but muscle through the rigors of hard laboring work. They set out on a mission to develop a smooth, quiet and compact machine for tight trail driving/riding that would be comfortable, versatile, have sufficient storage and hold plenty of cargo while remaining compact. It would need to offer a quiet ride so that you and your passenger could actually hold a conversation.

Yamaha Wolverine X2

Yamaha Wolverine X2

I don’t mind spilling the beans early in this first impression write-up as you’re going to want to read on. If you are an adventure seeker who fiends for exploring tight technical trails, you will fall in love with the Wolverine X2 as Yamaha just flat out nailed it on this design. They set high goals, goals of refinement, quality, performance and human comfort. To be honest guys, I really couldn’t find a whole lot that I didn’t love about this machine other than the fact that I don’t own one myself or that the tail gate isn’t designed to hold your rump while you take a breather.

Yamaha Wolverine X2

Yamaha Wolverine X2

“They set high goals, goals of refinement, quality, performance and human comfort.”

Design Philosophy

Yamaha spends a great deal of time researching and understanding the feedback and needs of there customers. Yamaha customers have been requesting a vehicle that incorporates high performance, a compact feel, something versatile, comfortable, quiet, smooth, plush, durable, reliable, and capable of towing and hauling cargo. The research concluded that customers want a trail width recreational UTV with the ability to accomplish hard working tasks and it’s name is Wolverine X2. Engineers dug deep and designed into the crevasses of every small and large detail we as riders wish for in the ultimate recreational UTV.

Yamaha Wolverine X2

Yamaha Wolverine X2

“Engineers dug deep and designed into the crevasses of every small and large detail we as riders wish for in the ultimate recreational UTV. “

Engine – A Performance Breath Of Fresh Air

The Wolverine X2 is a two seater UTV which is setup with a 59 inch width, ideal and nimble for attacking the tight technical East Coast style trails. It’s powered by a high-performance breath of fresh air, the new liquid cooled 847cc, 4-stroke parallel-twin long stroke engine (DOHC). I’m sensing a few high-fives out there in internet land. This engine is just amazingly fun, powerful, smooth, precise and delivers a confidence boosting amount of torque and check this; its very quiet. Warning guys, your wife will be able to hear your snide under the breath backtalk when she’s screaming at you to slow down. Another notable mention is that I really didn’t notice much engine vibration and heat, which is a commendable detail in the design. Yamaha claims that this new motor outputs 47% more torque and 32% more horsepower than it’s predecessor, the Wolverine R-Spec.This engine makes impressive tractable power that gets to the ground without lag or delay. If you nail the throttle, the power delivery is instantaneous and pulls with a strong and manageable authority. It just seems to grab the earth with just the right amount of grip propelling you controllably forward in a thrilling manner.

Yamaha Wolverine X2

Yamaha Wolverine X2

“It’s powered by a high-performance breath of fresh air, the new liquid cooled 847cc, 4-stroke parallel-twin long stroke engine (DOHC).”

Suspension & Handling

As previously mentioned, the X2 is designed to be nimble, maneuverable and extremely accurate. For those who ride East Coast trails, we all know size matters; but in this case, compact is actually better. Every inch counts when precisely navigating through those tight pine tree littered trails and through rock crevasses that feel almost impossible to squeeze your wide load through. Those familiar with the original Wolverine 700 may be interested in knowing that it’s 60.6 inches wide while the new X2 is 59 inches wide, 1.6 inches less. X2 is 115 inches long, 1.9 inches less than the Wolverine 700. With that said, I assure you that the X2 is extremely stable as Yamaha was able to find that sweet spot in width and stability. In fact, it didn’t take long for me to feel quite confident whipping through both the tight technical and wide open trails running a pace that could imprint a long lasting ear to ear grin on your face. East Coasters, you will appreciate this. As for turning and winding down the trail, this machines handling is so much fun and instills an exciting level confidence in the driver. It might even be good to note that the X2 has a sharp turning radius of 177.2”, which is 3.9” less than the Wolverine 700. X2 never feels loose or squirrelly, yet steers and handles the trail surprisingly accurately with stability. It just goes where you steer it to go and remains planted. The electronic power steering is soft enough to keep your arms from suffering from fatigue, but offers enough resistance that you still feel the trail nicely. If there were any complaints on my end, I’d prefer a touch less steering wheel rotation to wheel turn. Pounding through the tight technical terrain at a fast pace keeps your arms in motion just a touch more than I would prefer.

Yamaha Wolverine X2

Yamaha Wolverine X2

The feature that wins most of my favor on the X2 is it’s suspension. To be fair, I need to mention that the model we tested was an upgraded model, the Wolverine X2 Special Edition. This SE has several upgrades, one being that it is outfitted with KYB adjustable Piggyback shocks, which feature preload, high/low speed compression and rebound. The standard model shock setup comes with KYB gas charged twin tube shocks with 5-way adjustable preload. I wish that I could report on the standard shock setup as I think they might be pretty good, but unfortunately I didn’t have the opportunity to try. What I will say is that if I was making this purchase and yes, I have a tendency and liking to drive aggressively; the upgraded shocks alone are enough to nudge me in the R-Spec or Special Edition direction. These shocks feel sporty and suck up the rough and harsh terrain and just make the ride so enjoyable. They are sturdy feeling when you corner and make rough terrain feel like butter. These KYB shocks truly can absorb those unwanted harsh hits, keep the UTV stable and offer the sporty and even smooth ride that you want. Suspension is almost always the first aftermarket modification that I make, but I’d honestly be happy with the R-Spec or Special Edition adjustable shock setup. The handling and suspension of the X2 was absolutely a blast to drive fast and created the confidence to push hard.

Yamaha Wolverine X2

Yamaha Wolverine X2

“The handling and suspension of the X2 was absolutely a blast to drive fast and created the confidence to push hard.”

A Few Loose Ends

As you have read, Yamaha’s objective was to create a multi-purpose adventure ready UTV, but one that is also tough enough and capable of assisting it’s customers with the chores on your honeydew list. I know many of you will be happy about the new dump bed. Engineers created plenty of cargo space in the dump bed for cargo which has a 600 pound weight capacity. Dumping the contents of your bed is done by simply pulling a single lever on either side of the bed. Remember how I mentioned the little details? Yamaha designed this dump bed to be very quiet and it doesn’t end with the bed. The entire machine is almost stealth like. No more of that annoying clankity clank as you roll down the trail. Finish and fit is typical top notch Yamaha quality. The bucket seats are comfortable and I am a huge fan of the adjustable steering wheel. Another thing that is adjustable is the drivers seat and on this model, no tools are necessary for adjusting.

Yamaha Adventure Pro

Yamaha /Magellan Adventure Pro GPS

Yamaha will offer plenty of accessory integration such as a full cab enclosure, the really forward thinking Adventure Pro smart GPS system, upgraded wheels and tires and so much more. Yamaha engineers actually have already designed empty switch panels into the dash to make installation of accessories extremely simple. Oh, and absolutely love the center console for storing the valuables.

Yamaha Wolverine X2

Yamaha Wolverine X2

“The entire machine is almost stealth like. No more of that annoying clankity clank as you roll down the trail.”

Parting Thoughts

Yamaha has designed the Wolverine X2 to be a multi-purpose machine with recreation as it’s prime focus, and of course with the ability to tackle hard work. With that comes an amazing new engine, top notch handling characteristics, great suspension, very well engineered and with tons of great creature comforts to make those adventures that much more pleasurable for both the driver and passenger. Honestly, I think for this price range and target audience, this just might be the most practical high performance recreational UTV offered to date. I had a complete blast exploring both at high speeds and chill speeds on my adventure. Hey, what can I say? I want one!

Yamaha Wolverine X2

Yamaha Wolverine X2

“I think for this price range and target audience, this just might be the most practical high performance recreational UTV offered to date.”

Models Offered

  • Wolverine X2 – Graphite Base EPS Model: $12,699
  • Wolverine x2 – R-Spec Models Alpine White or Ridge Red: $14,499
  • Wolverine X2 – Hunter – RealTree Edge Camo: $14,949
  • Wolverine X2 – Special Edition Models Tactical Black or Back Country Blue: $15,299
2019 Yamaha Wolverine X2

2019 Yamaha Wolverine X2

PLUS FEATURES

  • Great suspension and handling
  • New Engine – breath of fresh air
  • Extremely quite and not clunky
  • Plenty of storage

MINUS FEATURES

  • Could use a touch less steering rotation
  • Sorry West Coast, This One Is For The East Coasters
  • That I don’t have one

Specs/Dimensions

Price: Starting at Base Model – $12,699

R-Spec Model – $14,499

Hunter – RealTree Edge Camo

ENGINE

  • Type:  847cc, 4 Stroke Parallel Twin, Liquid-cooled, DOHC
  • Bore x Stroke:  82.0 mm x 80.2 mm
  • Compression Ratio:  10.5 : 1
  • Throttle Body:  Dual 36 mm Mikuni with YCCT
  • Fuel Requirement:  {(R+M]/2) of 86 octane or higher or research octane number of 91 or higher
  • Ignition:  TCI
  • Starting System: Electric
  • Transmission:  Yamaha Ultramatic V-Belt
  • Drive Type:  Ultramatic CVT, Shaft
  • 4WD System:  Yamaha On-Command 2WD/4WD with Diff-Lock

CHASSIS

  • Suspension / Front:  Independent Double Wishbone w/Anti-Sway Bar, 221mm (8.7”) of wheel travel
  • Suspension / Rear:  Independent Double Wishbone w/Anti-Sway Bar, 226 mm (8.9) of wheel travel
  • Brakes / Front:  Dual Hydraulic Disk
  • Brakes / Rear: Dual Hydraulic Disk / Shaft Mounted Parking Brake
  • Tires / Front:  Maxxis MU75, AT26x8-12, Steel / Aluminum Wheels
  • Tires / Rear:  Maxxis MU76, AT26x10-12 Steel / Aluminum Wheels
  • Payload Capacity:  576 kg (1270 lb)
  • Towing Capacity:  907 kg (2000 lb)
  • Max. Tongue Weight:  63 kg (141 lb)

MEASUREMENTS

  • L x W x H: (Wolverine X2)  2920 mm x 1500 mm x 1900 mm
  • Wheelbase:  2100 mm
  • Turning Radius: 4500 mm (177.2”)
  • Ground Clearance:  280 mm (11”)
  • Fuel Capacity:  35.0 L (9.2 US Gal)
  • Wet Weight: (X2)  STD: 699 kg (1,538 lb)
  • Wet Weight: (X2 R-Spec)  STD: 719.5 kg (1,583 lb)
  • Instrumentation:  Digital LCD meter with fuel gauge, speedometer, odometer, trip meter, maintenance meter, hour meter, 2WD/4WD/Diff-Lock Indicator, L/H/N/R gear indicator, parking brake indicator, engine warning light and gauge, Battery Warning Indicator, Speed Management System Key Indicator, high beam indicator, EPS warning light
  • Lighting:  Dual 12V 12.4/6.2W LED Multi-reflector Headlights, Dual 12V 2.7/0.5W LED Taillights with Brake and Reverse lights 4W

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